A Caudwell Children report [link] published today has revealed the difficulties that parents often face when trying to access vital mobility equipment for their child.
At Caudwell Children we have 21 years of first-hand experience supporting disabled children and their families to access the services, equipment, therapies and treatments they need.
That often means that we also so how hard parents and carers have to work to get the mobility equipment their child needs. We know that those challenges have been exacerbated by the pandemic.
So we asked parents and carers whose child uses mobility equipment for their view. All of the respondents care for a disabled child and have been supported by Caudwell Children.
The survey asked a series of questions about the ease and timeframe of accessing support for disabled children. The findings paint a clear picture: the support on offer needs to improve dramatically.
Here are the key findings based on parents’ and carers’ responses when asked about access to mobility equipment.
More than two-thirds (69%) believe their chances of getting vital mobility equipment for their child decreased during the pandemic.
Two-thirds (66%) of children had to wait more than 6-12 months for vital mobility equipment after their needs became apparent.
Almost three-quarters (71%) do not believe that their child has all of the mobility equipment that they need.
More than one in five (21%) t had to wait more than two years to receive mobility equipment for their child.
Almost two-thirds say it would take more than two-years to save for the mobility equipment their child needs.
The majority say mobility equipment has improved their child’s quality of life (85%) and allowed their child take part in more experiences (88%).
A third (33%) report that schools, public venues and public transport are not accessible for children who use mobility equipment.
In response to the mobility equipment survey findings, Caudwell Children CEO Trudi Beswick said:
“We know that parents and carers often report a direct link between disabled children’s wellbeing and access to vital services and support.
“It is also patently obvious that the pandemic had a profound impact on disabled children’s access to such services and support.
“So it is perhaps not surprising that 69% of parents and carers say their child’s chances of getting vital equipment have decreased.
“It is, however, shocking – and a fact that needs to be addressed urgently. Earlier this year the Government published its long-awaited National Disability Strategy. This set out 120 commitments, including £3.82million of funding for welcome disability awareness training in schools and colleges.
“What the Government must do now is set out further detail. That must include publishing the overdue SEND review and a commitment to long-term investment in health and social care.
“The structural inequalities in our society need to be urgently addressed, to build back better and fairer for disabled people.”